The funding round was led by Pavestone Technology, an INR 500 Cr SEBI registered fund

The Ministry of Defence has inked a deal with NewSpace to develop a High-Altitude Pseudo Satellite on February 10. NewSpace, founded and run by former IAF officer Sameer Joshi, has won the ‘Swarm Architecture’ award last year in October

Drone start-up, NewSpace Research & Technologies has secured $21 Mn funding in a round led by Pavestone Technology Fund.

The funding raised is going to be used in delivering products to the armed forces. The start-up would also focus on the civil logistic operations for drones, according to ET’s report.

Pavestone Technology, an INR 500 Cr SEBI registered fund, invests in start-ups operating in the deep technology domains that provide products, platforms, and solutions, largely to the B2B segment across sectors.

Based in Bengaluru, NewSpace’s 46-member team is building smart technologies for the next generation. Its website says, the start-up's next-generation aerospace technology includes unmanned air systems, collective robotics, GPS denied operations, augmented reality, virtual reality, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

According to the start-up's website, with a track record of more than 10 NextGen projects delivered, it is pushing the envelope of cutting-edge solutions for aerospace in industrial UAVs, collective robotics, GPS denied visual-inertial navigation, AI modules, augmented and virtual reality simulations.

On February 10, the Ministry of Defence inked a deal with NewSpace Research & Technologies, founded and run by former IAF officer Sameer Joshi, to develop a High-Altitude Pseudo Satellite (HAPS).

HAPS is an unmanned aircraft that operates at altitudes over 65,000 feet and capable of conducting surveillance operations by staying airborne for months at a stretch.

The HAPS are designed to fly at higher altitudes, which puts them out of range for most air defence systems. Moreover, they rely on solar energy to power themselves allowing them to stay airborne for months on end.

The drone start-up, founded in 2017 will lead the first phase of development with seed funding from the Ministry of Defence.

Besides, India has around 194 defence tech start-ups building innovative solutions to power the country’s defence efforts. Some major local players include ideaForge, Tonbo Imaging, CM Envirosystems, and VizExperts.

Meanwhile, the government is putting a lot of emphasis on domestic defence procurement. As much as 68% of the defence services capital acquisition budget was set aside for domestic defence procurement in this year’s budget proposal.

Additionally, the Centre also accorded priority to the procurement of capital items from domestic sources under the Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020.

This is in accordance with the central government’s bid to make India the ‘defence hub of the world”, with a turnover of $25.5 Bn in military goods and services by 2025. According to official estimates, the size of the local defence and aerospace manufacturing sector can reach the $ 1 Tn mark by 2022.